The coalminer’s daughter. The bartender. The police brutality activist. The grieving mother. Each looked at the man representing her in Congress and said, “I can do better.”
Recording careers and world tours long behind them, two senior citizen jazz musicians find themselves still making music at unlikely venues.
Nearly every day for the past thirty years, Maurice McIntyre has taken the subway from his studio apartment on St. Ann’s Avenue in the South Bronx to play his saxophone on the Grand Central and Union Square train platforms. On good days, his saxophone case fills with $40 to $60 in small bills and loose change. At seventy-seven years old, Maurice hasn’t even entertained the thought of not working.
“I’ll work till I die,” said Maurice, who suffered a heart attack three weeks ago at his home and has been hospitalized since.
At the height of his career in the 1960s and ‘70s, Maurice led his own band, recorded and toured internationally. Then jazz clubs began closing their doors and opportunities disappeared with them.
“Musicians don’t have the option of retiring,” says Marianne Pillsbury, communications and musician programs manager for Jazz Foundation of America, a nonprofit that provides relief and assistance to jazz and blues musicians. “The single biggest issue musicians everywhere face is finding work. Finding the next gig.”
In an average year, the Jazz Foundation of America helps around seven hundred musicians and their families by providing or connecting them with services, ranging from crisis relief to social, medical and legal resources. It also gives musicians, like sixty-nine-year-old piano player Roy Meriwether, a weekly venue to jam with other musicians.
“Who would look after him if I wasn’t here?” and other questions this mom asks herself every day.
Get up close and personal with the athletes of the reemerging ancient pastime of mallakamb, in Narratively’s first 360 film.
Once a year, residents of this mountainous island gather at two churches on opposite ends of town and launch 100,000 handmade rockets — directly at each other.
When Dee came out as a transgender, it meant the end of her marriage to Penny. And that’s when the empowering journey for both women truly began.
As Chinese investment turns this mineral-rich region into a cash cow, does the Southern Mongolian culture have any hope of survival? A few families are willing to fight for it.
We humans are far more complex than the news headlines and clickbait would have you believe. Let the Narratively newsletter be your guide.